We’re an innovative charity, 

Animal Assisted Interventions Discovery Centre

Qualified Professionals

exploring ways animals can help people overcome specific challenges, enrich and improve lives and communities.

About Us

Why the Animal Assisted Interventions Discovery Centre is so important

The Animal Assisted Interventions Discovery Centre, is unique, in being the only animal-assisted intervention discovery centre (rural facility) in Australia. Situated in the beautiful Adelaide Hills, Strathalbyn, 30 minutes drive East of Adelaide's CBD. 

The Animal Assisted Intervention Discovery Centre, is an initiative of Therapeutic Dog Services Incorporated,, Australian Registered Charity with over 30 years of service delivery in Animal-assisted activities, education and therapy. 

What We Do

The Animal Assisted Interventions Discovery Centre (AAIDC) brings together the Australian major AAI engagement organisations in Australia. 

Together we strive for a society where people of all ages and backgrounds have an opportunity to enjoy and explore animal assisted interventions, and feel a sense of shared ownership over its direction.  

AAIDC comes up with ideas for national AAI programmes that will be both engaging for the public and will advance the sector. We then strive to secure partnerships and funding.

The team here then works with industry and other expert partners to develop a cutting-edge AAI programme that brings the latest research alive for children and adults. 

For most AAIDC projects, we create the content, including hands-on activities, experiments, an excellent set of equipment, and resources including curriculum-linked workshops and AAI Professional Development.

We then invite industry and centres to bid to partner with us to deliver the exciting programme with community and schools in their part of Australia. Once the industry or centres have been selected we train and equip them to run the new programme across Australia.

As the national base centre

 

We Oversee

  • All Therapeutic Dog Services Incorporated community programs and services.  500 + volunteers and 100+ Industry partner, joint ventures throughout South Australia. Including the Adelaide-based, various hub service centres. (North East, South, West)

  • Professional Development and Training in Animal Assisted Interventions:

     -Activities, Education and Therapy.

     -Ethical and safety best practices, adequate training for both the human and the animal,                                 implement and maintain.

     -Formal training guidelines and practices ensuring the safety and well-being of not only humans, but            animals as well.

Our Therapy Animals

We assess, train, and house working animals in a free-range habitat 

Our therapy animals are lovingly housed in a rural facility surrounded by a picturesque and tranquil bush setting. The 10 Acre property allows many of our animal family to enjoy free-range natural habitats outside of their training, metropolitan and regional working roles.

No, we are not breeders of different species of animals, we leave that to the professionals.

We specialise in working with potential species of animals, to train them for safe handling and placement with individuals, facility and special needs individuals' homes.

We partner with a voluntary alliance of animal breeders, professions, veterinarians, and other animal charities that aim to promote the freedom, independence, and rights of people to have access to therapy animal services or own assistance, companion, or therapy pets across Australia. 

Meet the team

Our animals act as important ambassadors for their species in Animal Assisted Interventions,  "Animals in the rehabilitation and social care of people" Enhancing quality of life and health through the human - animal bond both in our own backyard and across the globe. In addition, are part of metropolitan and regional Australian Animal Assisted Interventions programs.

 

A team of animal keepers, trainers, vets, and vet nurses care for our animal residents.

 

  • Animal keeper teams are made up of our network of highly qualified professionals and volunteers who provide the majority of the animals’ daily care requirements including feeding, cleaning, training, and enrichment practices. 

  • The veterinary team, Dr. Neil Griffiths (BSC, BVMS, MVSC) has 30 years of veterinary experience manages the long-term health of our animals. . Pediatric and adult desexing, Vaccinations, Micro chipping, Dental checks and surgery, Digital X-rays, pathology, medicine, referrals and advice and information.

Meet Our Animals

Animals are being used as therapy animals for a wide range of ailments. From children with autism to group homes for people who suffer from memory impairment disorders such as dementia, animals are helping people to connect with animals and each other. They are bringing a sense of calm and comfort to the lucky people who get to watch over them.

Animals bring about a nostalgic feeling to our older generations who may have grown up with animals and a new sense of awe to the younger ones.

The care of animals also bring teaching moments, responsibility and routine to people who need this to thrive. 

All of the animals have been carefully raised and are trained to taking part in animal-assisted activities, education and therapy. Meet Our Animals >

Meet Our Partners

AAI Discovery Centre has great relationships with corporate and local community organisations our corporate relationships are two-way.

From Corporate social responsibility, philanthropy to boosting team engagement.

AAI Discovery Centre is a powerful partner for business. 

Our Partners as we build on the impact were making together

Government Partners

SA Health

Department of health and wellbeing

Department of Human Services

Government of South Australia

Council Partners

Adelaide Hills Council

Onkapringa Council

City Of Playford

Cambeltown Council

Mitcham Council

Universities

University of South Australia

How we are funded

AAI Discovery Centre is a self-funded community organisation. The work we do with our community and our animals is funded through a combination of donation agreement plans with SA Service Providers supporting our programs and services, admission fees, applying of grants, hiring of space for events and sale of produce and merchandise.

"Supported by grants from"

Our Mission 

To create an inclusive community that inspires, supports, and educates people of all ages and abilities through participation in, animal-assisted intervention focused activities.

Animal Welfare

  • Animal Safety and comfort

  • Animal Training and Welfare management.

  • Ethical and safety best practices

Community health and well-being is cultivated through Pet Therapy Programs, wellness workshops,  therapy and counselling services

Aged Care

Aboriginal Elders Village

Allity Aged Care

Estia Health: Aged Care x 5

Eldercare  Aged Care x 5

Mary Mackillop Aged Care

Penwood Village Aged Care

Resthaven Aged Care

Saint Anna’s Aged Care

The Society of Saint Hilarion Aged Care x 2

Uniting Communities Aged Care x 3

Disability Services

Bedford Group

Department of Community

and Social Inclusion: Various hubs

DCSI: Musica Ave Pooraka Accomodation

DCSI: Salisbury Group

Paraquad SA

Spastic Centre of S.A

Strathmont Disability Services

Various Community Houses for people living with disability

Disability services

Disability accommodation services

Hospital

Royal Adelaide Hospital: (Oncology, Stroke, Acute medical x 7, mental health x 2

Repatriation General Hospital

Norlunga General Hospital x 3

SA Health several

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital: Palliative, Mental Health x 3

Calvary Mary Potter: Palliative care

Ronald McDonald House children and families

South Western Community

Mental Health Services

Anglicare –Mental Health Group

Ashton House

Grow

Glenside Inpatient Mental Health

Headspace

Hutt Street Centre

James Nash House

Mind Australia

Queen Elizabeth Hospital: Cramond Clinic

Royal Adelaide Hospital: C3 and PECU.

Queenstown Intermediate Care Centre (QICC)

Our Vision

To foster the holistic health and well-being of animals, individuals and families of all abilities in South Australia and surrounding communities through hands on participation in wellness activity experiences, animal-assisted intervention services.

 

Helping animals and people to participate in an inclusive, safe and supportive environment that nurtures personal growth with a connection to nature and community.

Values

Together we share our strengths, spirit and experiences not as experts but through reciprocal relationships where we learn, heal and grow together.